Thank you to my mother, Lady Rhea, from Bronx, NY for this story!
Rhea was born and raised on Cruger Avenue in the Bronx. After she got married, she moved into her first apartment in 1970. Her parents lived in the same building directly across from her. They could peer through their windows and tell that she was awake if they saw her lights on.
Rhea used to go downstairs to do her laundry at her mother’s because her parents had a washing machine in their apartment. She would then carry the laundry back upstairs to hang to dry in her place. Since her husband, David, had an office job in Manhattan, Rhea was always washing black dress socks.
A few months had passed since Rhea and David had moved into the apartment. Rhea was doing the weekly laundry. She had laid out six pairs of black socks on her white bedspread in two neat rows. She grabbed three pairs to put them in the drawer and then turned back for the remaining three.
Only two pairs of socks were left on the bed. Rhea paused. “Where the heck did the third one go? I know I had two rows of three,” she thought to herself.
After searching in vain for the missing pair, Rhea shrugged, and finished putting away the laundry. She was home all alone. She didn’t have a cat or dog that could have stolen the socks while she wasn’t looking and her husband was out on an errand.
Two weeks after this incident, Rhea came home to find the missing pair of black socks sitting on top of her bed. She always made the bed before she left for work in the morning. Freaking out, she ran downstairs to her mother’s apartment and told her what had happened. She thought that perhaps her mother had found a pair of David’s socks in her apartment from the last time that she had done the wash down there and had returned them to her.
“Did you go into my apartment while I was out, Ma?”
“No, Dear. I only go up there when you’re home.”
“Well, David is still at work and he left before me, so he couldn’t have done it.”
Her mother shrugged, ever the realist. “Maybe you just forgot that the socks were there.”
“I would have remembered if I had left a pair of black socks in the center of my white bedspread. No, they definitely weren’t there before I left this morning. Someone or something put them there.”
Rhea already knew that her apartment was haunted. Friends who came over would comment on seeing the shadow of an old woman sitting on her couch. Rhea describes her as being mostly see through, like a photo negative, rather than a solid, full-blown apparition. Some thought that this could have been the spirit of Rhea’s grandmother, Rose, who had also lived in the same apartment building until she died.
Rhea was right about the sock incident. This wasn’t the last time that things would vanish on her only to show up months or even in some cases, years later. But that’s another story!
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